Eric Kass Interview – 50 States (Indiana)
Eric Kass – “Give until it feels good.”
We’re in Indiana talking design and inspiration with Eric Kass for the 16th Instalment of The Creatives Chair’s 50 States series.
Eric had produced some wonderful packing designs, but it’s his penchant for letterpress which really shines through on his portfolio.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do
I’m a commercial artist who provides high-end branding, identity & package design for artisanal food/beverage, boutique products, emerging technologies & artistic services from start-ups to large corporations & in-house design departments around the globe. I strive to craft engaging brands that speak to consumers on an emotional and intellectual level creating lasting connections.
I’ve worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, as well as, homespun start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. In 2005 I founded Funnel: The Fine Commercial Art Practice of Eric Kass a full-service branding studio serving the world from the Broad Ripple neighbourhood of Indianapolis, Indiana.
How has your state influenced the work that you do?
I grew up on a farm in Farmersburg, Indiana with a Midwestern USA work ethic of rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done whatever it takes with intense pride and determination. It was my Great Aunt Betty and Uncle Bob’s farm that had been in the family for generations which meant I was surrounded by tons of history of old machinery and even printed materials from decades past (see examples) which still influences my work today. I also got to experience what it was like to be self-employed and not to simply have a job which is separate from your personal life but to actually live your vocation.
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Of your own work, what is your favourite project and why?
I really enjoyed creating, Funnel Paper Goods, my own line of paper products inspired by my family and life growing up. It was very helpful to have first-hand experience bringing products to market and understanding the challenges of the patrons I’m working to help do the same. I also loved how comprehensive the project was from designing the product to the brand, packaging and writing the copy. “Give until it feels good. Original printed patterns inspired by thoughts of ancient, vinyl-padded, patio furniture, well-worn, flannel pjs and musty books. Created from fond memories and intended to dress-up the events of our lives. Good for blizzards, weddings, spring-flings, cocktails, anniversary toasts and lemonades by the shore.”
And finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?
Oh My God, Whatever, Etc. by Ryan Adams
“If I could I’d fold myself away like a card table
A concertina or a Murphy bed
I would but I wasn’t made that way so you know instead
I’m open all night”
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